Admiral’s Cruise, 23+24 June 2018

The flotilla rounding the Montgomery wreck on Day Two. Photos and article by Fred Trice.

Once a year, rain or shine, a very mixed group of Medway leisure craft led by local fishing boats, accompanied by police RIBs and sometimes the Sheerness lifeboat, makes its way up and down the Medway. Held over two days on an early summer weekend, the flotilla Beats the Bounds of the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery.

ROFF, a very ancient organisation indeed, can trace its roots back to a charter granted by Henry III to the City of Rochester and another by Henry VI giving the local fishermen rights to harvest fish and oysters from the river. The charter was given further weight in 1729 when George II passed an Act of Parliament allowing management of the river to be organised and policed  by ROFF.

Day One

The Admiral’s Court in Rochester Guildhall

Each year, Saturday starts early with the Mayor, as Admiral of The River, holding court in the Rochester Guildhall, listening to reports from the Chamberlain of the Fishery, as to how the year has gone. The health of the fishery is noted; poaching has been a problem in the past.

The Beadle leads the procession. Can you spot the local MP who is also MSBA Patron?

After the court the Mayor led by the Beadle makes his way round the corner to Rochester Cruising Club where a boat has been allocated as his Barge for the Day.

Hawkwood Stone, the upstream limit for the Rochester Oyster & Floating Fishery

The flotilla then heads upstream to the upper limit of the fishery with members of the great and good aboard. Then it’s back down the river for refreshments.

Day Two

Once again the fleet sets off following the ROFF fishing boats, this time heading downstream, frequently picking up vessels from some of the clubs and marinas as we pass. It is traditional that we fire a cannon at all the various clubs  we pass and they answer in the same manner.

The historic tug Touchstone laying a wreath over the wreck of HMS Bulwark

First “hove to” is the war grave of HMS Bulwark where a vessel is stationed  for a wreath laying with local sea scouts and piper aboard. Then it’s off out past Garrision Point, sometimes with a water display from the Sheerness tugs and on to the SS Richard Montgomery

One of the Sheerness tugs saluting the Admiral with  fire hoses

Again a “hove to” for a wreath laying and the Last Post before returning into Queenborough at the invitation of the Mayor of Queenborough and his good lady. Over 70 boats have been known to attend.

Swale Smack & Sailing Barge Match, 4 (not 14) Aug 2018

The annual Swale Smack & Sailing Barge match is probably the most prestigious traditional boat event on the East Coast, and has been running since 1972. It is open to all Thames barges, smacks, bawleys and gaff rigged craft as well as classic Bermudian rigged vessels, small open boat gaff and lugsail dinghies are also welcome.

Prizegiving is at Hollowshore in the evening and is a lively and convivial evening with live music, hog roast, burger van and bar.

For full details contact: Match Secretary Lena Reekie. Email: lenareekie(at)talktalk.net, phone: 07968 058398, website: www.kentishsail.org

Isle of Sheppey Round the Island Race, Sat 9 Sept 2017

Photo Lee Marriot

Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club will be hosting the world famous Round the Island Race, a true “tick in the box of life” for leisure and professional sailors.  This year the event is open to all types of “non mechanical” vessels including windsurfers, rowers and stand-up paddleboards as well as dinghies and catamarans. Estimated number of entries: 50 – 100 boats.

UPDATE: Phone number for the race will be 01795 663052 and will be on channel 37 Call sign Shepp.

Wayfarer Eastern Championships

Wayfarer champs 2017

Photo Mike Spurgin

The Wayfarer Eastern Championships were held by Medway Yacht Club at the weekend in gusty westerly winds. As you can see in the photo, the new orange MSBA race marks were used. If your club would like to use these or the original white ones, please contact MYC.

Medway Dinghy Regatta, 8/9 July 2017

Medway Dinghy Regatta 2017

Medway Regatta Entry Form 2017

Medway Dinghy Regatta Sailing Iinstructions 2017

The Dutch are here!

HNLMS Holland

Photo by Rob Chandler

The offshore patrol vessel HNLMS Holland arrived today in Basin 2, along with the type 23 frigate HMS Richmond just to keep an eye on what they get up to. You can find out more and book a visit to the two ships at http://new.medway.gov.uk/news-and-events/bom

The Dutch are well underway with the registration of the 200 or so yachts and ships coming to the Medway for the historic event. The really good news is that the bulk of the Dutch visitors will be split into two fleets.

Fleet 1: consisting of tall ships (including the HNLMS Urania, the brigs Merganster and Aphrodite), many yachts from  the Royal Maas Yacht Club from Rotterdam, and historic steam and motor vessels will gather at Queenborough on Wednesday 7 June and sail in company up the Medway on the morning of Thursday 8 June with the Dutch royal prince taking the salute at Upnor castle at 11.45. Fleet 1 will leave the Medway on 12/13 June.

Friday to Sunday: Dutch and Royal Navy ships open to public

Saturday 10 June: Dutch retired Marines Rowing Challenge, MSBA members Queenborough Rowing Club have accepted the challenge. The course is Upnor to Rochester Bridge then back to Thunderbolt Pier to “break the chain”!

Sunday 10 June: MSBA members Medway Towns Rowing Club are hosting a regatta from 10.00 to 12.00 in their reach of the river but with a race between Dutch and British rowers from Rochester to Upnor about midday in an 8 or 4.

Fleet 2: up to 90 yachts, largely from the Dutch Offshore Sailing Club, will gather at Stangate Creek and sail up the Medway on 14 June 2017, leaving on 18 June.

Many of the historic ships will be open to the public as well as the visiting Dutch and British naval vessels which are now berthed in Basin 2 of Chatham Docks.

The event grand finale takes place on Saturday 17 June. The programme includes entertainment on the river, a parade of sail with local historic yachts and ships including a modern Dutch steam vessel at 17.30 from Sun Pier to Upnor Castle . The day culminates with the ‘Medway in Flames’, a son-et-lumière and firework display with Upnor Castle as the backdrop.

The Medway and Swale Boating Association (MSBA) and member clubs and marinas are providing moorings for our Dutch visitors and arranging river activities. Medway Yacht Club and Upnor Sailing Club are working together to provide breakfast and evening meal galley facilities and to arrange Hog Roast evenings with a sea shanty band at MYC on Saturday 10 June and Friday 16 June. There will also be a ‘Pub Night’ meal,  served from the counter, with Upnor SC running a Quiz, on Thursday 15 June.

Hoo Ness YC, together with Medway Cruising Club and Segas SC are providing moorings and hospitality for a small fleet of ‘Gaffers’ from Holland and the east coast.

Further information on the Battle of Medway events can be found at www.deruyter.org  and www.visitmedway.org

Icom Regatta Pack recommendation

Derek Zobel of Wilsonian SC asked us to share details of the Icom Regatta pack as advertised in RYA Wavelength publication – Annual review 2016 – page 17. This is suitable for clubs that wish to provide regatta officials with handheld VHF radios for an event.

Follow this link to the relevant Icom page

Honda RYA RIB Youth Championship 2017

The RYA London and South East area Honda RYA Youth RIB finals will be held at the Medway Yacht Club (MYC) on Saturday, 8 July 2017. MYC would like this year’s event to include participants from across our London and South East area.

The championship is split into two age groups; 8 to 12 and 13 to 16. The events are exciting and very well organised. There must be many boys and girls who would revel in the opportunity to take part, and; one really useful outcome is the potential for future safety boat drivers!

For information about the Medway event, please email Henry Chung at henrychungmh(at)btinternet.com or Ian Glass at ianglass(at)live.com

Further information from the RYA website:

Wayfarer Nationals 2016

Wayfarers

Photo Catherine Gore

At the Wayfarer Nationals in June, dinghies jostle for position at the MSBA race buoy. If your club wants to use one or both of the MSBA racing buoys please contact Gavin Parson at secretary (at) msba.org.uk

Medway Keelboat Regatta, 8-10 July 2016

The Medway hosts one of the South East’s Premier Regattas incorporating the Sonata Eastern Championship, Thursday 7 to Sunday 10 July 2016. Medway Yacht Club is delighted to invite competitors to attend and participate in the MYC Keelboat Regatta, an event for all who enjoy sailing. This year we extend a very warm to welcome Sonata’s participating in the Sonata Eastern Championship and all other visiting yachts

Click here for more information including Notice of Race and Entry Forms…